Castell-Rüdenhausen was a County in the region of Franconia in northern Bavaria of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by a branch of the Counts of Castell. It was created as a partition of Castell and in 1806, it was mediatised to Bavaria. Godfrey George Frederick Philip Godfrey John Frederick Frederick Louis Christian Frederick Christian Frederick Wolfgang
Coburg is a town located on the Itz river in the Upper Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. Long part of one of the Thuringian states of the Wettin line, it joined Bavaria by popular vote only in 1920; until the revolution of 1918, it was one of the capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Through successful dynastic policies, the ruling princely family married into several of the royal families of Europe, most notably in the person of Prince Albert, who married Queen Victoria in 1840; as a result of these close links with the royal houses of Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Coburg was visited by the crowned heads of Europe and their families. Coburg is known as the location of Veste Coburg, one of Germany's largest castles. In 1530, Martin Luther lived there for six months during which he worked on translating the Bible into German. Today, Coburg's population is close to 41,500. Since it was little damaged in World War II, Coburg retains many historic buildings, making it a popular tourist destination.
Coburg lies about 90 kilometres south of Erfurt and about 100 kilometres north of Nuremberg on the river Itz. It is surrounded by the Landkreis Coburg. Coburg lies at the foot of the Thuringian Highland. Coburg, Bavaria was part of West Germany until reunification in 1990, but on three sides it borders Thuringia, East Germany; the border between Bavaria and Thuringia was the inner German border. Coburg is divided into 15 Stadtteile: Coburg Beiersdorf Bertelsdorf Cortendorf Creidlitz Glend Ketschendorf Löbelstein Lützelbuch Neu- and Neershof Neuses Rögen Scheuerfeld Seidmansdorf Wüstenahorn Coburg was first mentioned in a monastic document dated 1056, which marked the transfer of ownership to the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, although there was a settlement at the site that predates it called Trufalistat; the origin of the name Coburg is unclear. Its oldest remains date to the 13th century. In 1248, the castle came into possession of the House of Henneberg and in 1353 it passed to the House of Wettin with the marriage of Frederick III with Catherine of Henneberg and was regarded by them as a Saxon outpost within Franconia.
During the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 reformer Martin Luther spent six months at the castle while his liege lord, Elector of Saxony, attended the Diet. Luther was forbidden to attend by the Elector, who feared that he would be imprisoned and burned as a heretic. While quartered at the castle Luther continued with his translation of the Bible into German. In 1547, the princely residence was moved from the Veste to a former monastery, rebuilt as a Renaissance palace, the Ehrenburg. In 1596, Coburg was raised to the status of capital of one of the dynasty's splintered Saxon-Thuringian territories, the newly created Duchy of Saxe-Coburg under the leadership of Duke John Casimir. From 1699 to 1826, it was one of the two capitals of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, from 1826–1918 it was a capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Ernest Frederick, the fourth Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, moved his capital from Saalfeld to Coburg in 1764. Coburg became capital of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
In the early 19th century, the town's medieval fortifications were replaced by parks. The duke started the collection of copperplate engravings, today part of the Veste Coburg museum. Under his son, the Schlossplatz with what is today the Landestheater Coburg was created, he rebuilt the Ehrenburg in Gothic revival style. In the mid-19th century, Duke Ernest II supported national and liberal ideas and Coburg hosted the first meeting of the German National Association, the founding of the Deutscher Sängerbund and the first Deutsches Turnfest. During the 19th century, dynastic marriages created ties with the royal families of Belgium, Bulgaria and Britain; this turned the ducal family from the rulers of a obscure backwater duchy into one playing an influential role in European politics. The era of political influence peaked with Leopold Frederick; the marriage between Albert and Victoria established the present British royal house, which renamed itself Windsor during World War I. This marriage in turn led to a union with Germany's ruling dynasty, the Hohenzollerns, when the couple's eldest child, married the future Kaiser Friedrich III.
After her marriage, Queen Victoria said of Coburg: If I were not who I am, this would have been my real home, but I shall always consider it my second one. Due to the royal connections among the royal houses of Europe, Coburg was the site of many royal Ducal weddings and visits. Britain's Queen Victoria made six visits to Coburg during her 63-year reign. In 1894 the wedding of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha brought together Queen Victoria, her son Edward, her second son Alfred, her daughter the German Dowager Empress Friedrich, many of her grandchildren, such as future Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, the future King George V of the United Kingdom. In November 1918, the last Duke of Saxe
Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. On 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke and the King died in 1820, Victoria was raised under close supervision by her mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, she inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. The United Kingdom was an established constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign held little direct political power. Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840, their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria avoided public appearances.
As a result of her seclusion, republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond Jubilees were times of public celebration, her reign of 63 years and seven months was longer than that of any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political and military change within the United Kingdom, was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire, she was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, initiated the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. Victoria's father was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of the reigning King of the United Kingdom, George III; until 1817, Edward's niece, Princess Charlotte of Wales, was the only legitimate grandchild of George III. Her death in 1817 precipitated a succession crisis that brought pressure on the Duke of Kent and his unmarried brothers to marry and have children.
In 1818 he married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widowed German princess with two children—Carl and Feodora —by her first marriage to the Prince of Leiningen. Her brother Leopold was Princess Charlotte's widower; the Duke and Duchess of Kent's only child, was born at 4.15 a.m. on 24 May 1819 at Kensington Palace in London. Victoria was christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton, on 24 June 1819 in the Cupola Room at Kensington Palace, she was baptised Alexandrina after one of her godparents, Emperor Alexander I of Russia, Victoria, after her mother. Additional names proposed by her parents—Georgina and Augusta—were dropped on the instructions of Kent's eldest brother, the Prince Regent. At birth, Victoria was fifth in the line of succession after the four eldest sons of George III: George, the Prince Regent; the Prince Regent had no surviving children, the Duke of York had no children. The Duke of Clarence and the Duke of Kent married on the same day in 1818, but both of Clarence's legitimate daughters died as infants.
The first of these was Princess Charlotte, born and died on 27 March 1819, two months before Victoria was born. Victoria's father died in January 1820. A week her grandfather died and was succeeded by his eldest son as George IV. Victoria was third in line to the throne after York and Clarence. Clarence's second daughter was Princess Elizabeth of Clarence who lived for twelve weeks from 10 December 1820 to 4 March 1821 and, while Elizabeth lived, Victoria was fourth in line; the Duke of York died in 1827. When George IV died in 1830, he was succeeded by his next surviving brother, Clarence, as William IV, Victoria became heir presumptive; the Regency Act 1830 made special provision for Victoria's mother to act as regent in case William died while Victoria was still a minor. King William distrusted the Duchess's capacity to be regent, in 1836 he declared in her presence that he wanted to live until Victoria's 18th birthday, so that a regency could be avoided. Victoria described her childhood as "rather melancholy".
Her mother was protective, Victoria was raised isolated from other children under the so-called "Kensington System", an elaborate set of rules and protocols devised by the Duchess and her ambitious and domineering comptroller, Sir John Conroy, rumoured to be the Duchess's lover. The system prevented the princess from meeting people whom her mother and Conroy deemed undesirable, was designed to render her weak and dependent upon them; the Duchess avoided the court because she was scandalised by the presence of King William's illegitimate children. Victoria shared a bedroom with her mother every night, studied with private tutors to a regular timetable, spent her play-hours with her dolls and her King Charles Spaniel, Dash, her lessons included French, German and Latin, but she spoke only English at home. In 1830, the Duchess of Kent and Conroy took Victoria across the centre of England to visit the Malvern Hills, stopping at towns and great country houses along the way. Similar journeys to oth
Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
Charles Edward was the last reigning duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 30 July 1900 until 1918. A male-line grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, he was until 1919 a Prince of the United Kingdom and held the British titles of Duke of Albany, Earl of Clarence and Baron Arklow from birth. Charles Edward was a controversial figure in the United Kingdom due to his status as the sovereign Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, part of the German Empire, during World War I. On 14 November 1918, after a revolution in Germany, he was forced to abdicate as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and lost his rights to the ducal throne. In 1919, Charles Edward was deprived of his British peerages, his title of Prince and Royal Highness and his British honours for having fought in the German Army during WWI. Charles Edward joined the Nazi Party as well as the Sturmabteilung, where he reached the position of Obergruppenführer. Charles Edward served in a number of positions in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, including President of the German Red Cross from 1933–45.
He was the maternal grandfather of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and the younger brother of Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. After paying the fines imposed by the denazification court and losing properties to the Soviet army, he died in poverty in 1954. Prince Charles Edward was born at Claremont House near Surrey, his father was Duke of Albany, the fourth son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. His mother was Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, the fourth daughter of George Victor of Waldeck and Pyrmont and of his first wife Princess Helena of Nassau; as his father had died before his birth, Prince Charles Edward succeeded to his titles at birth and was styled His Royal Highness the Duke of Albany. After falling ill, the young Duke was baptised at Claremont on 4 August 1884, two weeks after his birth, publicly in Esher Parish Church on 4 December 1884 four months later, his godparents were Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, the Prince of Wales, Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein the Marchioness of Lorne, Princess Frederica of Hanover, Prince of Bentheim and Steinfurt and George Victor, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont.
Charles Edward was educated as a Prince of the United Kingdom for his first 15 years. He attended Eton College; as a grandson of Queen Victoria, the Duke was a first cousin of King George V and of the following European royals: Queen Maud of Norway, Grand Duke Ernest Louis of Hesse, Empress Alexandra of Russia, Queen Marie of Romania, Crown Princess Margaret of Sweden, Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain, Queen Sophia of Greece, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Hereditary Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Wilhelm II, German Emperor. Such was the interest Wilhelm showed in his young cousin's upbringing that Charles Edward was known amongst the Imperial Court as "the Emperor's seventh son", his mother drummed into him endlessly the importance of "becoming a good man, so you bring no shame on Papa's name". In 1899 the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, urged by Kaiser Wilhelm II, decided on how to deal with the succession of Duke Alfred, in ill health, his only son, Prince Alfred, had died in February 1899.
The Duke of Connaught, the Queen's third son, served in the British military, causing Wilhelm II to oppose him as a ruling prince of Germany. His son, Prince Arthur of Connaught attended Eton with Charles Edward. Wilhelm II demanded a German education for the boy, but this was unacceptable to the Duke of Connaught, thus young Arthur renounced his claims to the Duchy. Next in line was sixteen-year-old Charles Edward, who thus inherited the ducal throne of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, when his uncle Alfred died in July 1900, his sister Alice wrote: "It was a great heartbreak for my mother that my brother had to succeed to Coburg.'I have always tried to bring Charlie up as a good Englishman,' she once said,'and now I have to turn him into a good German.'" The Duchess of Albany "reluctantly" decided that "Charlie should accept – and he was too young to resist."With his mother and sister Charles Edward moved to Germany. Following an education plan by Wilhelm II, he attended the Preußische Hauptkadettenanstalt at Lichterfelde, studied in Bonn and became a member of Corps Borussia Bonn.
He joined the 1st Garderegiment zu Fuß at Potsdam and spent some time at the German court in Berlin. His uncle, Edward VII, made him a Knight of the Garter on 15 July 1902, just prior to his 18th birthday, he was unable to speak German at the time. Kaiser Wilhelm sent him to the Bavarian equivalent of Sandhurst for training. From 1900 to 1905 Charles Edward reigned through the regency of Ernst, Hereditary Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the husband of Duke Alfred's third daughter Alexandra; the regent acted under the strict guidance of Emperor Wilhelm II. Upon coming of age on 19 July 1905, he assumed full constitutional powers, he was deemed a constitutionally-minded prince. However, he soon deviated from his early liberal views and gave in to autocratic impulses becoming dependent on advisers at his two courts at Gotha and Coburg, between which political differences and rivalries had developed, he liberally supported the court theatres in both towns. Taking an interest in Zeppelin and aeroplane technology, Charles Edward supported
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well